Weather conditions may worsen symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis patients: the possible effect of temperature

Reumatol Clin. 2013 Jul-Aug;9(4):226-8. doi: 10.1016/j.reuma.2012.09.006. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Objective: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) complain that weather conditions aggravate their symptoms. We investigated the short-term effects of weather conditions on worsening of RA and determined possible seasonal fluctuations.

Methods: We conducted a case-crossover study in Madrid, Spain. Daily cases of RA flares were collected from the emergency room of a tertiary level hospital between 2004 and 2007.

Results: 245 RA patients who visited the emergency room 306 times due to RA related complaints as the main diagnostic reason were included in the study. Patients from 50 to 65 years old were 16% more likely to present a flare with lower mean temperatures.

Conclusions: Our results support the belief that weather influences rheumatic pain in middle aged patients.

Keywords: Artritis reumatoide; Condiciones meteorológicas; Rheumatoid arthritis; Temperatura; Temperature; Weather conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Temperature
  • Weather*